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Return of the Banshee 

Wednesday, Dec 30 2009
Steven Severin and Siouxsie Sioux carried the postpunk banner longer than nearly all of their contemporaries, from the mid-'70s through the mid-'90s. Since the Banshees broke up, Severin has crafted a postpostpunk career composing moody soundtracks for stage productions, movies, and television, while also devoting a hefty chunk of his time to remastering, repackaging, and rereleasing the band’s albums for appreciative fans old and new. His latest project, Steven Severin: Music for Silents, which he’s been touring for the past year, marries the keyboardist’s heavy, hypnotic ambience to a baker’s half-dozen of silent movies. The longest and most seductive of the lot is The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928), a legendary yet little-seen work by the French avant-garde and feminist filmmaker Germaine Dulac from a treatment by Antonin Artaud. Dulac was a groundbreaking Impressionist, experimentalist, and innovator, a description that fits Severin rather neatly as well. The lanky British artist makes his first visit to the Bay Area in who knows how long, bringing welcome news: He’s as inspired and intense as ever, and, perhaps, more forgiving of trusty fans demanding favors for old times’ sake.
Tue., Jan. 12, 7 p.m., 2010

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Michael Fox


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